11 July 2024

The opposition Pheu Thai Party has backed down over a plan to investigate three of its MPs, for the northeastern province of Surin, for showing up to welcome Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha during his visit to the province on Monday.

An informed party source said today (Thursday) that, if a committee was set up to investigate the incident and the three MPs were faulted for breaking the party’s rules, they might defect to join a new party .

According to Section 101 of the Constitution, an MP who is ousted from his/her party by a resolution endorsed by three-quarters of the party’s executive committee will lose his/her parliamentary membership unless he/she joins a new party within 30 days of his/her ouster.

The three Surin MPs, namely Mr. Khrumanit Sungpoom, Mr. Teeyai Poonsrithanakoon and Mr. Kunakorn Preechachanachai, went to welcome the Prime Minister during his visit to Surin province on Monday and were seen in the Prime Minister’s company in a group photo.

A Pheu Thai party source said that the conduct of the three MPs had annoyed several others, one of whom, Mr. Yutthapong Charassathien, Maha Sarakham MP, threatened to ask the party to probe the conduct of the three MPs.

The source questioned Khrumanit, noting that the Prime Minister did not visit Khrumanit’s constituency so why had he persuaded the two other MPs to welcome the Prime Minister.

The source also said that many Pheu Thai MPs wanted to hear the explanation from their three colleagues and they believe that the trio would not be dismissed from the party but could be reprimanded so the others would not follow in their footsteps.

Pheu Thai party leader Sompong Amornvivat played down the incident, saying that the three Surin MPs might have seen the Prime Minister to ask for some budget for their constituencies.

However, he said the three MPs should be warned so that they will not do the same thing again.